An older dachshund holding its paw out to a veterinarian with gloves.

If your dog has recently undergone a surgical procedure, or if they are aging and are experiencing joint pain, chances are, their veterinarian may suggest starting treatment with a pain medication. Rimadyl is among many different pain relievers prescribed to dogs, but it may not be the most effective or safest choice for some. So, what are some of the benefits and risks Rimadyl might have on your canine?

What is Rimadyl?

According to 1-800-PetMeds, Rimadyl is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can treat the following in dogs:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Joint issues, including dysplasia
  • Surgery pain
  • Fevers

Is Rimadyl safe for dogs?

It depends. Rimadyl is FDA-approved for veterinary use as an injection, chewable tablets and caplets, but there may be some cases where it is not safe for your dog to take the medication. For instance, if your dog is already taking an NSAID, it is generally not safe for them to take another NSAID. It is also not generally recommended to administer NSAIDs to dogs who are pregnant or nursing. Always talk to your veterinarian about whether or not it is safe for your dog to take Rimadyl. They will have the best advice for your dog’s needs.


Similar to safety risks, dosage will vary depending on your dog’s age, any medication(s) they take and their health history. Having said that, 1-800-PetMeds outlines a general dosing guide for dogs six weeks and older as follows:

  • 2mg per pound of body weight once per day OR
  • 1mg per pound of body weight twice per day

Again, this is just a general guideline, and therefore, you should still consult your veterinarian for personalized dosing instructions.

Side Effects

During treatment with Rimadyl, there is a chance your dog might experience side effects including but not limited to the following:

  • Problems breathing
  • Weight change
  • Fatigue
  • Change in mood
  • Dry mouth
  • Digestive issues, including diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Bloody or black stool or vomit

Please note: this list is not exhaustive, and you should always contact your veterinarian if your dog experiences any side effects from taking Rimadyl.

Final Thoughts

As with any other medicine or supplement, you should consult with your veterinarian about potential risks of administering Rimadyl to your dog. In some cases, this medication may be extremely helpful in managing pain, but in others, a different type of medication or treatment might be better.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute professional medical advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed professional.

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